The last time the Warren County High School football team won its final game of the season, current members of the Pioneers weren’t even in diapers. They hadn’t been born.
The Pioneers go into tonight’s season finale against the Soddy Daisy Trojans hoping to snap a streak of losing the final game of the season, something that dates back to 1990.
Warren County (2-7) hasn’t won its last game of the season in 22 years, when coach Ray Barnes led the Pioneers to four straight victories and a Nurseryman’s Bowl win over Cumberland County to finish the year.
Coach Tommy Johnson hopes the streak ends tonight at 7 p.m. when the Pioneers step on the field against Soddy Daisy.
Though extending the season is impossible at this point, coach Johnson still thinks there is plenty to play for tonight.
“We want to go into the offseason on a positive note,” said Johnson. “Getting a win would be big in letting the guys know we’re progressing to where we ultimately want to be.”
Soddy Daisy (2-7) is also wanting to snap a streak tonight at Nunley Stadium. After beginning the season 2-2, which included road wins over Rhea County and Chattanooga Red Bank, the Trojans have lost their last five games.
The Trojans have struggled in the last four outings, losing by a combined score of 182-32. Soddy Daisy hasn’t been able to get stops defensively as each of its last four opponents have scored 40 or more points, including last week when the Trojans lost 44-6 to McMinn County.
The Pioneers will try to exploit the Trojan defense with the running game. Warren County will lean on junior Cameron Lusk, who enters the game with a team-leading 587 yards, and junior quarterbacks Hunter Mullican and Lee Carden.
The two-quarterback system the Pioneers have employed since Mullican returned from a concussion will continue tonight as coach Johnson was pleased with his team’s offensive production last week against Tullahoma.
The Pioneers have been a different team at home this season than on the road. Warren County is 2-2 at Nunley Stadium, where the Pioneers average 30.5 points and 345 yards of offense. On the road, Warren County scored 7.8 points and gained only 221 yards per game as the team went winless in five tries.
Soddy Daisy brings in an offense led by quarterback Brett Standifer and the Trojan air attack.
Standifer has thrown for 1,368 yards and 10 touchdowns this season as he spreads the ball around to a slew of receivers. Senior C.J. Brown leads the team with 548 yards receiving and is tied with freshman Tre Carter with three touchdown catches.
When the Trojans run, Standifer and C.J. Blue do most of the damage. Blue leads the team with 335 yards, but Standifer is right behind with 285 yards.
Standifer threw for 106 yards and two touchdowns last year as the Trojans thumped the Pioneers 54-14 to close out a winless season for Warren County.
Coach Johnson knows the dual threat Standifer poises at quarterback will test his Pioneer defense.
“Soddy Daisy has a solid quarterback, one who can run if you let him,” said Johnson. “I think the key will be who controls the line of scrimmage, and I believe we have a good shot of doing that.
“We’ve played well at home this year and building on the good things we did last week could help us end on a good note this year.”
The home-field advantage should be even more evident tonight as fans turn out for senior night to honor 14 seniors.
Senior night festivities are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.